5 things you should know about Mike Janyk...
by Michael Mastarciyan
Some ski racers listen to heavy metal just before races or between runs to relax, de-stress and concentrate before they have to push out of the start gate.
Others “get into the zone” by listening to pop, or rap, or reggae, or country and I’m sure it’s even within the realm of possibility that some may choose classical music.
But if you took a listen into Canadian Cowboy Mike Janyk’s headphones when he’s full on into race prep it’s not music that you’ll hear - it’s Howard Stern.
Howard Stern to get into the zone - huh?
Howard Stern, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the famous American “shock jock” is a very popular radio personality who millions of people listen to on satellite radio in North America every day. Stern’s humour has been called everything from controversial, to disgusting and even genius. Stern, who has also made numerous television programs as well as a film based on his life, calls himself the “King of all Media” and in one of his most memorable gags “flew” out on stage at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards as “Fartman” hoisted by wires and started to...well you get the picture here I’m sure.
It should come as no surprise than, that Janyk, one of the most fun-loving and funny racers on the World Cup tour would choose Howard Stern as his listening material of choice before tearing out of the start hut.
Here then are 5 things you should know about Mike Janyk, one of which you already know a little bit about...
1. Mike is a Howard Stern “Super Fan” and thinks the famous American radio personality is a comedic genius and always listens to him on his headphones before race runs
“Three years ago a buddy of mine who’s been listening to Howard Stern for about 10 years said, ‘Hey man you spend a lot of time on the road sitting in airplanes and cars, you should listen to Howard Stern.’ I used to listen to him when I was a kid going down to Mt. Hood, so I kind of knew about him but I didn’t know much. So he gave me a couple of episodes to listen to and within two weeks I was hooked listening every day. There are four shows a day and I’ve become a total Super Fan. I listen to it in between runs or when you have an hour before your run or whatever. I haven’t missed one day in three years.”
“Stern does all this crazy stuff on the air, but it’s not what really hooked me into his show. For me it’s because he’s incredibly honest and open about his entire life and he talks about stuff people aren’t willing to talk about. He’s insanely honest. People think he’s outrageous because he’ll talk about uncomfortable situations or things that make people angry. It’s his ability to connect and really be open on the air and cut through all the BS that people hide behind. He seems like an incredibly genuine, down-to-earth and honest guy, but most of all he’s a comical genius, and his interview skills are incredible.”
“Anytime someone drops a reference to the show or mentions something affiliated to the show, or says one of the guys names on the air somewhere, or says something like ‘Baba Booey, Baba Booey!’ (the nickname of the show’s producer) on TV or radio they play them on the show. I’ve wanted to drop a reference in an interview but I keep forgetting. The Howard Stern show is definitely not for everyone, but I think it’s really funny and I feel Howard is one of the most relevant and innovative persons in media in the last 30 years!”
2. Mike is a practitioner of meditation
“For the last two years I’ve gotten into meditation. I try to do it twice a day, first when I wake up and then at night. It’s a great way to relax and I find it to be great not only to release stress and relax but also for recovery for my body. I used to do a forty minute stretching session but then when I got good at meditation and did it properly and focused on the right thing, after twenty minutes of it I’d stand up and everything would go like crack, crack, crack, crack and you feel totally loose. There are so many great benefits to it and I’ve totally adapted it into my training and my overall physical and mental well-being. I also use it as a great tool during the season for preparing for races; you can bring your race visualization into it. There’s tons of way to use it.”
“It started out as kind of doing it specifically for sport and it then it kind of evolved for me. I haven’t really studied Transcendental Meditation, but really any time you’re kind of quiet for 20 minutes and focus on one thing then it’s meditation.”
3. Mike is a huge coffee lover and a self-taught amateur barista
“After years and years of spending so much time in Europe I’ve grown a love for Espresso, Cappuccino and everything like that. So I was slowly was getting into getting an Espresso machine, so last summer I thought I’d get the best of the best. So I got a Rancilio coffee machine. Our old coach Johnny Crichton had one and he was telling me about it so I thought I’d try it out too. I probably went through three bags of beans before I got a good coffee out of it. There’s a lot that goes into it, you have to find the right grind, the right bean. You have to pack it a certain amount, press it a certain amount, you have to get the machine warm, it’s intense. I haven’t been able to get a design out of the milk yet. The milk was hard, I got the shot down, foaming the right milk. Maybe if you work at a real coffee bar they’ll teach you this, but I’ve been Youtubing videos on how to do it! I’ve had a few people say my Cappuccinos are the best they’ve ever had, if you come to my place in Vancouver I’ll make a ‘lights out Cappuccino’ you can count on that.”
“I even use coffee as a training tool during summer training. The best way to use Espresso is when you come back from your morning work out, you eat lunch get a little tired and before you take a nap you take a shot of Espresso and then in 20-30 minutes the Espresso wakes you up and you’re good to go!”
4. Mike wants everyone one to know he’s not related to American tennis star Andy Roddick
“I’ve always just been a huge fan of tennis and when I was younger I used to play competitive tennis, up to when I was about 12-years-old. A couple of buddies of mine would always joke when Andy Roddick was on TV and tell me, ‘Hey there’s your twin playing tennis!’ I’ve been told we have a lot of very similar physical features and mannerisms. Then when I went to see him play in person in Toronto a few years ago at an ATP event, I was in the stands watching and someone came up to me and said, ‘Hey are you Andy Roddick’s brother?’ I was just sitting there and we were about four rows up at the end of the stadium, I got put on the big screen at some point, I don’t know why, and then five minutes later the guy came up to me and was asking me if I was Roddick’s brother? My sister Britt also thinks I look like him and she’s always laughing about it!”
“Obviously I think Andy Roddick is a wicked athlete and I’m a fan. I just wish he’d Twitter more. It seems like he’s gone off the Twitter grid. I actually got on Twitter originally to follow him years and years ago.”
5. Mike owns lederhosen and even wears them outside of Austria and Germany
“Being in ski racing you spend a lot of time in Austria and Germany and those countries. After the World Championships in 2009 our home base in Kirchberg, Austria threw a parade for all the medalists based there too, for myself, Kucera (John) and Lindsey Vonn. We had a sleigh ride through the town, and then when we were on stage they presented us with lederhosen - shorts and long pants, the full get-up - shoes and everything, and Lindsey got a dirndl (the dress) so it was one of the coolest gifts you could get because we spend a lot time there and you adapt to the culture, and that Austrian-German culture also becomes part of yours and you learn about it, and so to have them (lederhosen), it’s probably one of those things I never would have bought for myself, but now that I have them I’ve worn them a couple of times back home. There’s a seawall cruise we do in Vancouver where my buddies and I bike and skateboard around the city and I decided to wear my lederhosen! Walking around downtown Vancouver and saying, ‘Servus!’ to people is really awesome! I’ve worn them for Halloween too, it’s really a great thing to have in your closet!”
Mike Janyk sporting Lederhosen